Karin Hanssen: Returning the Gaze
Karin Hanssens, Koen Leemans, Charlotte Mullins
Stockmans Art Books & De Garage, 2019
Karin Hanssen (° 1960, Antwerp) is a visual artist, writer, researcher in the arts and feminist activist. She studied drawing and painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and at the Higher Institute (HISK) where she graduated in 1993. The works in Returning the Gaze start from the idea of the mirror, from repetition through appropriation of photographic images and from the gaze of the other (The Borrowed Gaze). Returning the gaze or throwing back the gaze, answering is an exhibition in which the gaze gets a prominent place as a social mask, as a mirror of the other.
Through a selection of works from the past 25 years, the publication shows a journey through time through different eras such as the 17th century and the 1950s and 1970s. In the recent series of paintings with the title Retu (r) ning the Gaze, the woman and the gaze occupy a central place. From the way in which women were portrayed, we can deduce much about the moral, social and social function that they were assigned. It shows the interaction with morality and the woman in the period in which the sculpture was made. The images from the past that Hanssen shows seek a confrontation with the current view of man in this multicultural society.